The former soap star also dishes on their hot (cooking) plans for the holidays

By Jessica Wedemeyer
December 10, 2009 06:30 AM
Credit: Gregg DeGuire/PictureGroup

You can tell it’s amore – Antonio Sabato Jr. and his new girlfriend, singer-songwriter Cheryl Moana Marie, huddled close to keep warm Monday night and held hands while Sabato eagerly chatted about their relationship.

“I’m a very lucky guy,” The former soap star told PEOPLE at the L.A. premiere of The Lovely Bones. “We’re very fortunate we met because that’s the best thing to happen to us this year.”

The lovebirds met in Los Angeles after Sabato returned from Hawaii, where he failed to find lasting love through his reality show My Antonio.

“It’s kind of ironic that I went to Hawaii to look for someone, and then I found someone who’s from Hawaii,” Sabato said of Cheryl, a former beauty queen who is the youngest winner of the Miss Kauai America title. “She’s very strong and very supportive.”

Sabato credits luck – and similar values – with bringing the two together. “We were both surprised to see how much we have in common, how much we’ve been through in such a short amount of time,” he said. “I give her a lot of credit for stepping into my life and supporting my life in so many ways.”

Sabato, who has two children from previous relationships, added, “Our family values are pretty much the same. I truly love her family and her parents, the way she was brought up. And she feels the same way about me.”

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The pair has big plans for the holidays, they say, including, “a lot of cooking!” Cheryl will team up with Sabato’s mother, sister and ex Virginia Madsen, the mother of his 15-year-old son Jack, to prepare Christmas dinner. “So it will be a lot of food,” he assured.

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